Archive

Tag Archives: Walsall

One of the oldest known thugs in the Dover riots has been jailed.

David Ashman, 66, was given an eight-month sentence on Wednesday last week after being seen throwing two missiles.

Ashman had travelled all the way form his home of Wolverhampton Street in Walsall to the scene of two rival demonstrations in Dover on January 30 last year.

He was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court having pleaded guilty to one count of violent disorder.

The court heard that while Ashman was in Dover CCTV captured him near a petrol station in Effingham Street, where a disturbance was taking place.

He was then seen in Folkestone Road throwing two missiles at a rival group and aggressively gesturing towards them.

Detective Inspector Bill Thornton, from Kent Police, said: “The disruption caused by protesters such as Ashman was significant and caused a huge amount of people to fear for their safety while they were trying to go about their daily business.

‘While we respect everybody’s rights to participate in peaceful protest, we cannot accept people using pre-planned demonstrations to cause violent disorder.

‘Our investigation to locate offenders responsible for the disturbances has been thorough and many wrongdoers, including Ashman, have found that they have been unable to evade justice – despite living outside of Kent Police’s area.”

A far right march had taken place in Dover that day, which was countered by anti-fascist protesters.

It led to full-scale rioting with bricks and other missiles being thrown from either end of Effingham Street.

Ashman is the latest in a long line of violent yobs that police have caught up with since.

Kent Online

Advertisements

GB

He went out to protest on the streets of the Black Country, his face covered with a mask bearing the cross of St George, before hurling missiles towards police.

But today father-of-two and English Defence League supporter Gareth Ballan was starting a 27-month sentence behind bars.

Ballan wore the mask as he joined hundreds of others for the English Defence League rally in Walsall town centre.

As scenes turned ugly he was seen to throw two missiles, one a drinks can and the other an unconfirmed object, which may have been a brick, towards a police line.

He was later seen standing at the front of a crowd of EDL supporters with his arms raised in the air, chanting and encouraging the crowd by pointing towards the police line.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court, sitting in Birmingham yesterday, he was sentenced to 27 months for violent disorder relating to the events of September 29, 2012.

Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting, said that although there was no evidence of the 28-year-old kicking or punching there had been two objects thrown.

Mr Harry Lally, defending, said bricklayer Ballan, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, was remorseful and at the time had personal issues.

He added: “It is out of character. He travelled of course from the North East to Walsall and he fully accepts what he did do that wholly out of order.”

More than 30 men were sentenced at Crown Court in December but the case of Ballan had been adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. He had initially denied the offence but pleaded guilty on the day of the trial.

Judge Mr Nicholas Webb, said: “During this disorder you were provocative and on two occasions threw a missile.”

Scenes in Walsall on the say of the rally were described as an ‘orgy of violence’ as yobs threw wood and bricks towards police. Thugs were also spotted overturning and dismantling a table to use its legs as weapons.

Police carried out a year-long investigation to bring those responsible to justice and 31 men had already been sentenced for more than 55 years. Officers spent almost 500 hours working on the case to track down those involved.

Express & Star

Kirk Jones was among 32 men handed immediate or suspended prison sentences for violent disorder.

Kirk Jones, jailed for EDL violence

Kirk Jones, jailed for EDL violence

A Hinckley EDL protestor involved in a drunken hate-fuelled melee has been jailed for almost three years.

Kirk Jones, 28, was among 32 men handed immediate or suspended prison sentences for violent disorder over ferocious clashes with and police.

Trouble flared at a rally in Walsall town centre in September 2012 when 600 EDL followers confronted 200 members of the Unite Against Fascism movement who were holding a counter demonstration.

Missiles including concrete slabs and bricks were thrown at police who tried to restore order. A number of officers and EDL stewards were injured.

The sentences, all handed down at Wolverhampton Crown Court, were welcomed by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Robin Allen said: “Fuelled by hate and alcohol, a section of the group, instigated by key figures within the demonstration, began to direct their anger towards the counter demonstration.

“Police officers were then exposed to some of the worst violence they have been subjected to in a public order situation.

“Concrete slabs, bricks and a table leg were among the items used as weapons and thrown at the officers.”

The riot involved children as young as 16. One of the youngest, teenager Samuel Phipps, was just 17 at the time, while West Midlands Police said a 16-year-old was also involved.

Jones was sentenced to 33 months while Richard Schulz, 38, of Farnborough, Hampshire, received the longest sentence, of 45 months, and John Cureton, 48, of Rollaston Road, Coventry, was jailed for three years.

Stephen Currien, 30, of Watton Close, Bilston, got 28 months and Mark Conroy, 36, of The Worthings, Stirchley, received 30 months.

Chief Supt Dave Sturman, commander of Walsall Police, said: “These court proceedings should send a clear message to those who are intent on coming to the West Midlands to cause trouble. We will not tolerate such behaviour.

“People who commit public order offences such as these should not rest easy as, no matter how long it takes, we will find you.”

Hinkley Times

31 men from across the country, aged between 18 and 59, have been given sentences totalling 60 years and eight months for their part in the 2012 disorder which broke out in Walsall following an English Defence League demonstration.

Over 600 supporters of the EDL held a demonstration in the town centre on 29 September last year. A counter demonstration was also held nearby by the Unite Against Fascism group. Police officers had to keep the two groups apart.

A number of officers and EDL stewards were injured when the atmosphere turned hostile and supporters of the EDL threw missiles at the police.

The following men have been sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court for their part in the disorder:

Douglas Ralston (53) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Darron Davies (49) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 22 months

Neil MacDiarmid (50) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 15 months

Alan Turnbull (32) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 26 months

Stephen Currien (30) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Lee Rogers (26) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Gary Lycett (55) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 26 months

Jack Lambert (25) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months

Michael Thomas (49) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Jack Clark (22) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 16 months

Christopher Boyall (31) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Benjamin Banfield (35) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Mark Baker (44) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 21 months

Dean Lidster (44) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Craig Forward (38) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 25 months

Stephen Bennett (23) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Christopher Jelley (28) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 22 months

Myles Smith (39) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Nicholas Cooper (28) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 27 months

Peter Kirkham (30) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months

Mark Conroy (35) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 30 months

Kirk Reeves (40) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 18 months

Richard Schulz (38) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 42 months

Dean Smith (33) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 27 months

John Cureton (48) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 36 months

Kirk Jones (28) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 33 months

Ronald Hatton (59) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work.

Leslie Silk (37) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work.

Samuel Phipps (18) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 16 months, suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work.

Duncan Smith (43) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work.

Lee Coxshall (aged 34) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work

On 29 September, the English Defence League had arranged for their supporters from around the country to assemble in Walsall for a demonstration. It is the right of anyone to hold a peaceful assembly and Article 10 of the European Commission for Human Rights provides the right for freedom of expression; however, on that day, the supporters of the EDL went far beyond freedom of expression or a peaceful assembly.

Fuelled by hate and alcohol, a section of the group, instigated by key figures within the demonstration, began to direct their anger towards the counter demonstration. As police then sought to contain the group, supporters of the EDL began throwing missiles.

Police officers were then exposed to some of the worst violence that they have been subjected to in a public order situation. Concrete slabs, bricks and a table leg were among some of the various items which were used as weapons and thrown at the officers.

Those engaged in such reprehensible conduct paid little regard to what they were doing or who they were attacking, as during their orgy of violence, a number of their own EDL stewards, as well as police officers, were seriously injured.

A year on from those violent scenes those responsible for their actions that day have been arrested, brought to justice and now they have to face the consequences for their actions.

– Robin Allen, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service

ITV News

The day of reckoning came for nine more yobs who took part in an English Defence League protest in Walsall town centre that escalated into violence.

Eight men were jailed by a judge yesterday, while an 18-year-old who was a youth at the time was spared an immediate prison term.

It follows prison sentences on Monday for seven men who took part in the same protest. More thugs were being sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court today.

Yesterday, the court heard how Dean Lidster kicked out at a police dog. He was among others who broke up a wooden table outside the Wetherspoon’s pub in the town and picked up pieces of a ceramic pot. The 44-year-old of London hurled the pieces over the police line. He was put behind bars for 28 months.

Mark Conway spat at police officers and launched a fly kick. He initially denied his involvement but changed his plea ahead of trial. The 35-year-old, of no fixed address, was jailed for 30 months. Thomas Schofield, defending, said he had seen trying to pacify the situation.

“He has not been involved in a disorder of this kind before. There is genuine remorse from this defendant,” he said.

Christopher Jelley, of Broadway Close, Shrewsbury, who served in the Army, was seen trying to square up to a female officer. He had gestured using his finger across the throat. Judge Nicholas Webb gave him to 22 months.

Benjamin Banfield, 35, of Cobhorn Drive, Bristol, squared up to officers and was kicking out and spitting. He threw missiles and was shouting. Banfield was handed a 20-month term.

Samuel Phipps, 18, of Lingfield Drive, Great Wyrley, avoided an immediate 16 months detention as it was suspended for two years. He was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

Patrick Currie, defending, said the teenager was 17 at the time of the offence. The former Army Cadet had dreams of serving as a soldier before a severe knee injury. He has since gone on to an engineering course at the University of Wolverhampton. Mr Patrick Currie, defending, said: “This was a young man who behaved totally out of character.”

Judge Webb, accepting Phipps had been influenced towards the EDL by someone else, said: “ You have been very, very lucky you have escaped custody by the skin of your teeth.”

They all admitted their involvement and offences of violent disorder. Four more men who were convicted of violent disorder following a trial were also sentenced.

They included Dean Smith, of Brunswick Park Road, Wednesbury, who was said to be at the ‘forefront’ of the action although he didn’t throw or chant anything. He received 27 months.

Express & Star

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard trouble flared between the 600 EDL supporters and 200 members of the United Against Racism movement

A judge has slammed “mob violence” as he jailed seven men who took part in an English Defence League demonstration in Walsall.

They were the first of 32 people appearing for sentence after violent disorder hit the town centre last September, leaving police officers and demonstrators injured.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard trouble flared between the 600 EDL supporters and 200 members of the United Against Racism movement, who were holding a counter demonstration.

Mr David Bennett, prosecuting, said police saw pages from the Koran being burnt along with a Pakistan flag while there were also abusive and racists chants from EDL supporters.

Placards were also being carried, with one reading “Our Walsall will not be part of Pakistan,” he said.

During the trouble a young Asian UAR member also made an ‘inflammatory gesture’ and EDL members surged towards police bidding to keep the protesters apart, the court was told.

The far-right group’s supporters pushed, punched and kicked out at officers who faced missiles including bricks, bottles, coins and wood broken from street furniture and tables in a nearby pub.

Judge Nicholas Webb said the violence lasted about an hour and it was fortunate no serious injuries were inflicted, with police largely protected by their riot shields.

All 32 men were charged after police scoured over 400 hours of CCTV footage of the trouble, which saw a small number of protesters and police officers sustaining minor cuts and bruises.

The seven men jailed all pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Craig Forward, 38, of Neptune Street, Tipton, received 25 months; Myles Smith, 39, of Parkway Towers, Seacroft, Leeds, received 24 months; Mark Baker, 44 of Horseshoe Close, Pleck, Walsall was sent to prison for 21 months; Stephen Bennett, 23, of Milton Street, Palfrey, Walsall got 20 months; Kirk Reeves, 40, of Colliery Road, Swadlincote, received 18 months; Leslie Silk, 37, of Gatcombe Road, Bristol, was jailed for 15 months; and 30-year-old Peter Kirkham, of New Rowley Road, Dudley was jailed for 14 months.

The judge was told none of the seven men were involved in fighting with police officers, but they were threatening and aggressive.

The other 25 men will be sentenced tomorrow and later this week.

Birmingham Mail

EDL protest in Walsall

EDL protest in Walsall

Thirty two men will appear in court this week to be sentenced after violence erupted at an English Defence League demonstration in Walsall last year.

Over a period of four days the defendants will all appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court for their final hearing, after being convicted of violent disorder earlier this year.

The men were arrested and charged following an investigation by West Midlands Police Force CID following violence in Walsall town centre on September 29, 2012.

A series of operations were staged across the country to arrest people suspected of involvement in the disorder, which broke out when members of the protest group tried to break through police lines.

A further 17 men have already appeared before magistrates where they have been sentenced for crimes ranging from public order offences to criminal damage.

Det Chief Insp Pete Dunn, who led the police investigation into the disorder, said: “The majority of the people who visited Walsall to protest that day were law-abiding.

“However a small number of people decided to get involved in a few ugly scenes when protestors began to try and break through police lines and throw missiles.

edl-in-walsall-protests-by-the-english-defence-league

“Thirty people were arrested at the time, and we continued to arrest people from as far and wide as Dorset and County Durham over the weeks and months that followed.

“This week sees the culmination of a detailed, painstaking investigation by a dedicated team of officers who were determined to bring those people to justice.

“We recovered many hours of CCTV, mobile phone and police footage which led to more than 450 hours of detective work to identify those responsible for bringing violence to the streets of Walsall.

“These court proceedings underline the fact that we will pursue people who commit crime in the West Midlands, no matter how long it takes, and bring them to justice.”

Chief Supt Dave Sturman, commander for Walsall and in charge of the operation on the day, added: “We recognise that the people of Walsall were both concerned and inconvenienced on the day and we hope that residents are reassured by our continuing efforts to bring those involved in disorder in the town to justice.

“The message to people intent on bringing violence to the streets of the West Midlands when attending such events is clear – we will not tolerate disorder or any form of anti social behaviour.

“The force takes a hard line against anyone who comes to the West Midlands and creates disorder, whether it be in the name of an organisation or just for devilment.

“If you commit such crimes we will track you down and ultimately you will be brought before the courts.”

Despite violence breaking out at the EDL demonstration, only a small number of protesters and police officers sustained minor cuts and bruises.

There were no serious injuries.

All 32 men will appear before Wolverhampton Crown Court to be sentenced between Monday, December 16-Thursday, December 19.

Birmingham Mail

Walsall EDL demo convictions

More EDL demo Walsall convictions.

Yet more…